2015-03-13 / Letters

Students commended

To the editor:

We want to say thank you to the South Portland High School students who stood up for the Constitution by informing fellow students that the recital of the Pledge of Allegiance is always optional.

Sadly, school administrators missed an opportunity to give young people a valuable lesson in the fundamental freedoms upon which the United States is built. Teaching them to cherish and exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship should be an essential goal of our education system.

The value in our nation’s pledge lies in our ability to choose whether or not to recite it. Compelling students to mindlessly recite a pledge without giving thought to what it means is something we expect from nations with far less freedom than our own. It is also, of course, unconstitutional, as the Supreme Court ruled in 1943.

Lily SanGiovanni, Gaby Ferrell and Morrigan Turner should be commended for their patriotic actions.

Susan Peck
Board president, ACLU of Maine

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